Matt Fitzpatrick of England holds the championship trophy on the 18th green after winning the 122nd U.S. Open on Sunday at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
June 19 (UPI) -- Matt Fitzpatrick of England held off Will Zalatoris to win the 2022 U.S. Open on Sunday at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., winning his first major championship on the same course where he captured the U.S. Amateur title nine years ago.
Fitzpatrick shot a final-round 68 at Brookline to end the tournament at 6-under 274, becoming the first Englishman to win the U.S. Open since Justin Rose at Merion Golf Club in 2013 -- the same year Fitzpatrick won his U.S. Amateur title at The Country Club.
The 27-year-old Fitzpatrick also became the 13th men's golfer to win both the U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur. He is the second male player to win those events on the same course, joining Jack Nicklaus who achieved that feat at Pebble Beach.
"It's incredible. It's ten million times better than I thought it would feel," Fitzpatrick told reporters. "I never wanted to say it, but it felt like it was meant to be. I've played so well so many times and come up just shy. For it to happen here, it just felt right."
Holding a one-shot lead, Fitzpatrick hooked his drive on the par-4 No. 18 into a bunker on the left side of the fairway. Despite the errant drive, he found the middle of the green on his next shot and two-putted from 18 feet for par.
Zalatoris, who lost to Justin Thomas in a three-hole playoff at the PGA Championship last month, nearly took advantage of Fitzpatrick's wild drive, but in the end came up short by mere inches.
Facing a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th to force a second straight playoff in a major tournament, Zalatoris dropped to his knees in disbelief when the ball gently slid past the left side of the cup.
The near miss left Zalatoris -- still seeking his first major championship -- as a runner-up in a second straight major.
Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, was rewarded with the $3.15 million in prize money, the gold Jack Nicklaus Medal, and the U.S. Open Championship Trophy. At 27, he is the youngest player from England to win a major since Tony Jacklin at the 1970 U.S. Open.
"Matt's shot on 18 is going to be shown probably for the rest of U.S. Open history," Zalatoris said. "I walked by it, and I thought that going for it was going to be ballsy. But the fact that he pulled it off and even had a birdie look was just incredible.
"So hat's off to him. He played great all week obviously and gave a solid round today."
World No. 1 and reigning Masters champion Scottie Scheffler also had a chance to force a playoff. He had a 25-foot birdie opportunity on the 18th that just missed, leaving him one behind.
Scheffler and Zalatoris tied for second at 5-under 275, while Hideki Matsuyama ended in fourth at 3-under par.
Collin Morikawa and Rory McIlroy finished in a tie for fifth at 2-under 278. Denny McCarthy, Adam Hadwin and Keegan Bradley tied for seventh at 1-under 279.
Everyone else in the field finished even par or above, including Jon Rahm, who ended the day with a 74 to fall out of contention. He ended the tournament at 1-over par and tied for 12th.
Matt Fitzpatrick of England holds the championship trophy for the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., on Sunday. Fitzpatrick won his first major championship with a 6-under-par 274. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo